We have 12 hives...down from 17 at start of yr. Some of them we combined some of them took off it's the nature of the bees... they are on my mind because this is the time of year when we prepare them for winter
We get snow and ice storms. And we also take the honey from the bees but not all of it and there's no way to predict how much honey we should leave and how much we should take so just in case we take too much honey or the winter last too long we have to make a secondary food source called a candy board it consists of using granulated sugar and a liquid called be healthy which is Vitamin B food and lemongrass it smells wonderful you mix it up to the consistency of snow and pack it into a screen board that you can put in top of the hive... if they run out of food because they will eat the honey first but if they run out they have that sugar as a secondary food source.
Also we treat for mites not everybody treats their bees for mites but we do and we have not lost any hives over the winter.... we treat with oxalic acid.
It's like white crumbles and we put it on a tray and hook the tray up to a battery on the back of our four-wheeler and Slide the tray into the hive the crumbles turn into a vapor that treats the bees it does not hurt the bees or the honey but it kills the mites it is a big job when you have 12 hives!